RAF No 18 Squadron emblem

RCAF No 402 (Winnipeg Bears) Squadron

Motto: We stand on guard

No 12 Squadron RCAF was formed in 1932 and was re-numbered No 112 in 1937, however, on its arrival in Britain on 11 December 1940, it was re-numbered once again, this time becoming No 2 Squadron RCAF.

Equipped with Hurricanes, the squadron became operational at the end of February 1941 and on the first day of March was re-numbered No 402 Squadron, inline with other 'Article XV' units. Initially it carried out patrols along the East Coast from its base at Digby, moving to Martlesham Heath in June but the following month it was posted to Ayr in Scotland. Returning to the Rochford in August, it now joined in the offensive over the continent.

During this period the squadron was involved in bomb carrying trials on its Hurricanes and in November began operations in this new role. In March 1942 the squadron reverted back to the fighter role when it converted to Spitfire VBs and in August Mk IXs. In March 1943 the squadron returned to Digby, loosing its Mk IXs in the process and for a while trained for possible deployment overseas from a carrier, but this was cancelled.

Returning south in May 1944 the squadron supported the D-Day landings and received Spitfire IXs in July. From August the squadron was involved in 'anti-Diver' operations against the V-1 flying bombs, but in September with the threat reduced, the squadron moved to the continent carrying out armed recces and dive-bombing operations until the end of the war. The squadron disbanded at Fassburg on 2 July 1945.

Battle Honours
Defence of Britain 1941-44, Fortress Europe 1941-44, English Channel and North Sea 1941-45, Arnhem Rhine Dieppe France and Germany 1944-45, Normandy 1944

Squadron Codes used: - AE Mar 1941 - Jul 1945

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023